This episode of "CPC at 100: Views from Expats" features Brian Linden, an American businessman who has committed himself to preserving and promoting Chinese culture in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Born into a blue-collar family in Chicago, Linden never thought his life as a carpet cleaner would be any different until he randomly applied to Peking University and was offered a full scholarship by the Chinese government in 1983.
This generous offer opened new doors, and also planted seeds of enthusiasm for Chinese culture deep in his heart. He was later offered a scholarship by Stanford University for his doctoral studies.
"Stanford didn't want me because I was a good carpet cleaner," he said. "Stanford wanted me because of the opportunities I had in China."
After working in media and education for several years, Linden convinced his wife that they should quit their jobs and sell their house in America. In 2003, their entire family moved to China and settled down in Dali, Yunnan.
There in Xizhou, a small town located north of Dali, Linden founded the Linden Center hotel. The old houses not only retained their unique architectural style after renovation but even serve as a hub for guests to engage in immersive events aimed at promoting the culture of the Bai ethnic minority.
During more than 30 years of living in China, Linden witnessed how CPC officials lifted countless villages out of poverty. The once underdeveloped rural areas are revitalized with the building of new roads, hospitals and schools, and are turning into a beautiful countryside envisioned by Chinese policymakers.
"For me, the CPC really means a holistic system," said Linden. "It's a system of many dedicated people, many of whom are my friends and colleagues, who are trying very hard to improve the conditions of everyone around them."
Watch to find out how the ambition of an aspiring young American bloomed into a community space for cultural exchange and preservation.
(Produced by Liang Peiyu, Chen Lidan, Yan Yiqiao, Li Bowen, Han Xiaomeng and Lu Dong)